The very first project I tackled after moving in was to do something with this awful mailbox the builder gave us.
I just could not stand the font of the numbers and the fact that both the mailbox and the post were white. Where’s the contrast? So uninteresting!
So I decided I was going to paint it and change the numbers. Lucky for me, Lowe’s had some house numbers in a font that I actually liked for a couple of bucks each (I am extremely font-picky and swore I’d have to order some online). I also picked up a can of spray paint in a dark brown color to match our doors and shutters.
First, I unscrewed the very dirty mailbox and wiped it down (the thing was covered in orangey construction dirt). I also popped off the red mailbox “flag”….
Then I started to spray paint…
Then second coat…
Then time to dry….
I then unscrewed the existing numbers to put on our pretty new ones!
There are no pictures of me with drill in hand
Then I snapped the red mailbox “flag”, arm thingy back on, screwed the mailbox back into place and tada! The finished product!
It was such an easy and inexpensive fix that helped our mailbox better compliment our house and stand out from the neighbors (we all got the same one). It is now very easy to give directions since we’re the only people on the block with a brown mailbox!
ps- These pictures were taken back in April, before we had sod, neighbors and when the street was very much a construction zone. I plan on posting an updated view from the street soon, since the final house on our street was recently completed
Okay, round 2! If you need to start at the beginning of this post, click here.
When I chose the paint colors, I decided to use two shades of pink and two shades of brown to compliment the bedding. I figured this was the best way to make sure the letters went well with the color scheme of the room. Had I used only one shade of each, they may not have meshed as well, especially since I didn’t have anything with me to compare pinks and browns.
I started off with 4 paint brushes, one for each color…
…but ended up using many more
I tackled the middle letter, the one of a kind ‘e’ first. I am very thankful I decided to use this pattern only once, because it was very, very challenging. But I secretly enjoy an artistic challenge. I first drew lines with a pencil and ruler…
From this point, I thought I could just freehand a pink line over the pencil line. WRONG. Not only is it ridiculously hard to paint a line thaaat straight, but the pencil line could be seen through the paint. I had to resort to taping on either side of my pencil line, basically eyeing the width of the resulting line. The 2 lines at the very top, the shaky crooked ones, were freehanded. The rest is being done with scotch tape…
And completed with first set of lines (the darker pink)…
It’s not perfect, I know. And believe me, looking at it now is bothering me. But you live and you learn, so I set it aside to dry before I crossed those lines with the lighter pink lines. I then moved on to the simpler patterns. My favorite, the block of colors, separated with a white line (using scotch tape)….
Then the large dots, which were done freehand…
And the lines of random widths…
But wait! I could only fit 3 colors on that little i! So I decided to line each thick line with a thinner line in a contrasting color…
Then I went back to that dreaded ‘e’ and crossed the dark pink lines with the lighter pink lines, using the tape-over-pencil-marks method I used earlier. I then free handed the pin dots in alternating dark and light brown with a very small, round paint brush…
And that that is how I did my 4 main patterns. The end? Oh no, it was not that simple and pretty. Most of the letters that were taped (all but the large polka dot patterned ones) had some form of bleed through such as this…
To touch this up, I used the smallest brush in the history of the world, pictured here with my ring finger for perspective.
I then removed all of this tape…
…and touched up as needed. Note, this is the part that requires a very steady hand and a LOT of patience. First I fixed up the brown lines… (may be shaky due to the fact that I was painting with 1 hand, holding iPhone with the other)
Then I fixed up the pink…
And finally I touched up areas that needed to be covered in white for the final product!
As a whole…
And here is the picture my sister in law sent me, after they hung the letters up in baby Brielle’s room.
Though this is a great way to save money, it is not without it’s downfalls. Each letter takes me about 2 hours from start to finish, over several days. Maybe it’s because I have OCD and wanted to make sure they looked professional, but I wanted to put that warning out there to anyone to attempts to make their own. But in the end, I couldn’t be more proud of how they turned out. Not just how they turned out, but that they came from the absolute bottom of my heart, and that Brielle will have something special, made just for her, to hold on to for the rest of her life. Or at least until she’s a teenager and decides she hates them…. but that will be okay
Now that my niece has been born and her name is officially released to the public, I can share my little art project. I decided to make letters for the wall above her crib. Once I knew her name, I was able to begin my planning!
I’m sure most people are familiar with the painted letters trend that has been around for several years (If you are not, here is an example from JCPenney). When creating them, I take many things into consideration… the color of the room, the bedding patterns and the overall vibe. I knew that my brother had painted the walls and that the bedding was Trend Lab’s Maya set.
The paint job…(done with my brother’s blood, sweat and tears)
and the bedding….
So I knew that for a font, I wanted something fun and childish, perhaps cartoon-like. I’ve used a variety of websites in the past, but this time I ordered the letters from WoodenLetters.net. I was very impressed by the amount of fonts they offered since I have font OCD. I was also happy with the variety of letter sizes. I was EXTREMELY impressed with the quality when they arrived. They were thick, sturdy and clean cut. I think that if I decide to paint letters again, I will use WoodenLetters!
One more point that I forgot, I always use unfinished wood. Why you ask? Can’t you buy letters painted? Yes you can, but I prefer to paint the base coat myself so that there are no surprises as far as how my paint is going to stick. I tape a lot, use pencil, erase and touch up, so I want to make sure that I am able to do that successfully. Plus it’s cheaper.
The font I chose is called Whimsical and I decided on 10 inch letters. The baby’s name! ::drumroll:: Is Brielle!! Actual names are another thing I take into account. I usually judge fonts by their lowercase ‘a’, but since her name doesn’t have any, I didn’t have to worry about that. The ‘i’ looked cute so I was sold. As for the sizing, the letters from this particular site are sized based on the SMALLEST letter. I was originally going to do 12 or 14 inch letters but then the ‘B’ would have been ginormous. The downsize meant that the letters cost me a minimal price of $2.50 each.
So I had my font, size, atmosphere… time for a design plan. I thought of some patterns that may go with the nursery…(please excuse my colored pencil, elementary school quality, sketches…I was not planning on sharing these)
There are 7 letters in Brielle, so I gave myself the following options:
a) 2 patterns, alternating every other letter
b) 4 patterns, with 3 of them appearing twice and the middle letter having a one of a kind pattern
c) 7 different patterns
Taking into account the variety of patterns in the bedding, I knew I needed more than 2, but not as many as 7, as to not appear too busy. So choice ‘b’ was the winner! I wanted a mix of striped and polka dot patterns, so I went with….. top row, the 1st and 2nd patterns and the bottom row, the 1st pattern. I decided to do the pattern in the 1st row, 4th position as my one of a kind pattern since it had both stripes and dots. I decided to do all patterns on a white background, since the walls are a light tan where the letters would be, yet the molding in the room is white.
I then sketched out the order of the patterns to see how each one looked on each letter…
Then it was finally time to start painting! I used simple, inexpensive acrylic craft paints. I first painted all of the letters (front, back and sides) with 2 coats of white paint over several days. The letters are unfinished so it takes a decent amount of paint to get that solid white look.
I stuck them on a box to get the edges, look at that thickness!
Once the letters were all white, pretty and dried, I got ready for the fun part… colors!
Since this post is long enough, I will get to how I painted the patterns in part 2! So suspenseful!
I threw my sister-in-law a baby shower this past Saturday. I have a little niece on the way, so she requested a pink and brown theme. I did not want to just pick up those horrid decorations from the party store, so I had to do a little thinking as to how to pull this off. I have never been in charge of shower design and I have definitely never thrown a baby shower! I had some ideas in mind, but the execution happened on a whim and with some prayer.
I bought these inexpensive vases (in 2 heights) at Michael’s and wrapped them in various ribbon from Walmart. I taped the ribbon on since I planned to give them to guests to take home afterwards. The stuffed lion is from Home Goods. This display was on the corner of the bar and the mirrored version (with stuffed giraffe) was on the opposite corner. I forgot my camera that day and am limited to the pictures I snapped with my iPhone to send my husband.
There were 4 rectangular tables which I covered with brown plastic table cloths from Party City (they were a whole $2!). I then put either a hot pink or light pink “runner” made with another plastic table cloth that was folded (or not completely unfolded). I knew I wanted this look and it was so incredibly easy to get. I feared I would have to trim table cloths, so I bought a few extras.
For the flowers I followed a simple rule: either all one bloom or all one color. I also made sure all of the leaves were removed from the stem and that the blooms sat just nicely above the rim. I don’t like filler flowers, mixed bouquets, or long stems… but that’s just my personal taste. I used some shorter vases also from Michael’s, wrapped in a single strand of ribbon and alternated between hot pink flowers on the pale pink runners and light pink flowers on the hot pink runners. My flower philosophy goes something like this… I am no botanist, I don’t know what 75% of them are named, but I know what looks good. The hot pink/white baby’s breath things I have never seen before, but I loved. They really looked great paired with the light pink daisies. All of the flowers came from the “build your own bouquet” section of my local supermarket. They were 3 bouquets for $10.
Overall I was very happy with how everything turned out, despite the fact that I have no photos of the gift table. The caterer even contributed these adorable menu signs for the buffet….
I gave most of the vases to guests at the end of the shower, but the lower ones would be a great storage solution for a little girl’s hair accessories, jewelry, etc…especially with some fun ribbon attached!
I haven’t posted in a while, but that’s okay because I also haven’t told anyone about this yet! We’ve been working a little bit on the design and direction of the site. But I’m back!!
I spent this past weekend at what is becoming one of my favorite stores: Ikea. Ikea used to be known more for their quirky items, swedish meatballs, generally low (meaning in height) and cheap (meaning in price) furniture. But recently it seems that Ikea has been able to distinguish between cheap and inexpensive design, with even their furniture stepping up it’s game recently. Every time I go there, and we’ve been going at least once a month, I manage to find some treasure that I didn’t discover the last time I was there. This visit was unplanned and we didn’t expect to find anything, as we were just there about 2 weeks before. We went mainly to accompany my brother and sister-in-law and hang out with the nephew.
Our first find was these Merete curtains in brown for an affordable $39.99.
They are the perfect taupe-ish color we are looking to paint our living/dining room area. Window treatments for an entire house are a biiiig expense, so we were happy to find something reasonable that perfectly matched the style, color and vibe we wanted in our dining room. Plus they are a nice, heavy material that my curtain climbing cat will not be able to pull. After thinking about it, we want to pick up another pair for the opposite window in the living room.
My beef with Ikea curtains is that, out of convenience, you have to hem the bottom with their iron-on hemming strips. We already own these Ikea Stockholm Blad curtains from our condo, which I still love.
I had to perform an Ikea hack of sorts on these. First the opening for the curtain rod, that top part that looks unattractively scrunchy, was too small for our chunky rod. I hand sewed some tabs onto the back so that our rod would fit and bypass the opening. I also used the iron-on hemming strip on the bottom, only to have my cat pull it out in a week. Since I didn’t have a sewing machine, I brought them to a tailor who permanently hemmed them, and also machine sewed the tabs I made. Luckily the Merete curtains have oversized metal eyelets at the top to avoid the curtain rod issue and looks so much neater. And I have since gotten a sewing machine (thanks mom!)
My other great find was these Dinera dinnerware sets…
These are listed on the Ikea website for $14.99 for 6 place settings. We picked up the brown and the beige to mix and match. The funny thing about these ridiculously inexpensive plates is that we registered for a Calvin Klein set which exactly resembles this. One (that is 1) place setting of the CK version was $49.99- on sale. We registered for 12 and only got a few. So we were able to pick up 12 place settings of this Ikea version for a whopping $30!! Here is the CK version in the beige….
Yes, they matched right down to the color choices. The only difference was that the Ikea sets did not include mugs, but who really uses them when entertaining? Our guests prefer booze.
In June 2009, my husband and I signed a contract on to-be-built home. As the neighborhood grew around us, we jokingly referred to our home as the lil house that could, since it is the smallest model in the community. We know, we know, it is not small by any means.... read more.